6 June 2011

Spinach Kiwi Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing for Kitchen Play

Spinach Kiwi Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

A short while ago I was asked to participate in a Progressive Party over at Kitchen PLAY for the month of June. Who wouldn't want to wear their hostess hat and contribute to a blow out affair with 5 other talented food bloggers each assigned wildly different courses. We were all challenged to create one of 6 courses incorporating kiwifruit from ZESPRI®.

This month my assignment was to bring you a delicious salad course for this culinary challenge sponsored by ZESPRI® Kiwifruit. First grown in China and a nutritional powerhouse, the furry little kiwifruit is full of surprises!! When I was a little girl growing up in Southern Ontario kiwifruit were considered an exotic specialty. My mom would cut one in half and with spoon in hand I would consume several of these tropical jewels in one sitting. Kiwi fruit has always been immensely popular especially during the past two decades, and deservedly so!!!

On the outside, a kiwi fruit is a brown oval-shaped fruit which is covered with a downy fuzz. When you cut, or bite, through its thin brown skin you reach velvety, semi-translucent, emerald green flesh dotted with a ring of tiny, edible black seeds. The taste of kiwi fruit, varies from sweet to tart, with an invigorating taste reminiscent of a combination of other fruits, such as strawberries, nectarines, and melons yet with its own unique sweet flavour. Packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, the bright green flesh of the kiwifruit  adds a dramatic tropical flair to any salad.

Prized for its tangy flavour and emerald-green flesh, kiwifruit makes a wonderful addition to any salad. Here I paired it with a citrusy poppy seed dressing, spiced almonds and raspberries for colour contrast. To peel your kiwi fruit it is easier to first cut off the ends with a sharp knife and peel with a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife. To eat the fruit with a spoon, cut it in half crosswise or lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. If the peachlike fuzz is rubbed off, the fruit can be eaten skin and all!

ZESPRI® GREEN and GOLD Kiwifruit are lovely additions to many recipes that call for fresh fruit. But did you know that they also work well in spicy salsas, tropical drinks and even in marinades? At a time when environmental awareness is at the forefront of global consciousness, we can also take comfort that ZESPRI® Kiwifruit growers make environmental protection a priority. Isolated and pristine, with fertile volcanic soil and artesian irrigation water from the country's mountain ranges, it is no wonder that New Zealand grows some of the best kiwifruit in the world.

Head on over to Kitchen PLAY and see what cocktail, amuse bouche, salad, appetizer/soup, entrée (main course) and dessert each of this months participants have come up with. Each month Kitchen Play also features a contest to involve as many additional bloggers as possible. Visit the Contest page at Kitchen PLAY for more details on how you could win $100 for trying this recipe and posting about it.

 **Spinach Kiwi Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing**
  • 1 package prewashed baby spinach
  • 2 - 3 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
  • 1 250 g container fresh raspberries
  • Spicy sugared almonds (see recipe below)
Orange Poppy Seed Dressing
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon shallots, finely chopped
  • 85ml (⅓ cup) cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1½ tablespoons poppy seed
  • 250ml (1 cup) canola oil
In the bowl of a food processor blitz dressing ingredients (but not the poppyseeds) until the sugar is completely dissolved. With mixer running, slowly add oil. Stir in poppy seeds. Store in refrigerator until needed.

In a large bowl toss baby spinach, kiwifruit and raspberries. Add enough dressing to lightly coat spinach salad. Sprinkle with Sugared Almonds and serve immediately.

 Sugared Almonds
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2-4 tablespoons sugar
  • dash of cayenne pepper to taste
  • dash of salt
1. In a skillet, melt butter. Add almonds, sugar, cayenne and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until sugar is melted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to foil to cool. Break apart as needed.

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  1. What an exquisite summer salad! That combination is very original and so appealing.



  2. This is a gorgeous salad! Love the colors and the combination of ingrediients!

  3. I must say I've eaten a tonne of these over the last few decades but never have I seen such an inspiring recipe like this Val..So fresh and summery!

  4. AnonymousJune 06, 2011

    I haven't had much luck with citrusy salad dressings, but this one looks like a no-brainer. Cheers!

  5. Oh, I love salads w/ spiced or sugared nuts...such a great component. And I'm loving the kiwi in here, I don't think I've ever had a "regular" (non-fruit) salad that utilized it. The dressing alone sounds amazing, too. YUm!

  6. What a nice salad! I have never used kiwis in a savory combination and now I am curious to try. Have a great week!

  7. It looks pretty, healthy, and delicious.

  8. Such a lovely summertime salad! I always add some fruits and nuts to mine too, and kiwis are one of my favorites.

  9. aaah! Val your salad look amazing and beauty, look tempting and I lov ethe plate!! gloria

  10. Lovely salad! I love fruit with fresh spinach, and the addition of a little spice with the mustard in the dressing makes me want to try this even more.

  11. I've never had kiwi in my salad but this looks divine! Great idea Val!

  12. Too funny. I have spinach and kiwi at home, but I brought all my raspberries to work for snacks!

  13. That's the prettiest salad I've seen in a long time. Love the combination of raspberries and kiwi.

  14. Gorgeous salad for summer! I love kiwi and it is supposed to be so good for us too. The sugared almonds sounds wonderful in this! I'm saving a copy.

  15. What a delightful, summery salad, Val. :-) Love all those textures and colors and zesty flavors. :-)

  16. The kiwi is such a gorgeous fruit, it's perfect in summery salads! Poppyseed dressing is my favorite too. :)

  17. This recipe actually makes me super sad because I'm allergic to kiwis! And I do love them so. I'm sure I would adore this salad!

  18. I truly enjoy trying to come up with something for this months Kitchen Play - yours is perfect for the hot summer months, cannot wait to try it.

  19. This salad looks delicious, Val! I must admit I've only recently warmed up to fruit in my salads, but this one looks worth it, and I love the sugared almonds!

  20. Such a lovely salad Val - the colours are amazing.

  21. Thanks for stopping by! This has always been one of my favorite summer salads! Nothing better than fresh raspberries with the zing of a kiwi. Happy summer to you!

  22. Love the idea of the kiwi and raspberries together. What a gorgeous combination Val.

  23. Just love how bright and colourful this salad is! So perfect for summer barbecues. (Though I have a feeling the sugared almonds would disappear long before they made it onto the salad, if you know what I mean.)
    That orange poppyseed dressing sounds amazing, too... that's going on my must-try list.

  24. Lovely salad. I love kiwi, although I can't eat too many of them because I get a bit of an allergic reaction on my tongue. I like how you combined it with spinach. I'm tired of spinach and strawberries!

    That dinner sounds like so much fun too. I always wanted to participate in something like that.

  25. Great flavor combinations, I love the way the salad looks, too. So many beautiful bright colors!

  26. I love fruit in a spinach salad, and the kiwis sound great! Perfect with the orange poppy seed dressing too.

  27. i'd always rather eat fruits than vegetables, so this is my kind of salad. i love the dressing, too, which is a rare statement for me to make!

  28. Fruit added into a green leafy salad is now my latest preference, especially while everything is so fresh! I haven't had kiwi in such a long time that you've now reminded me of what a treat I've been missing!

  29. Kiwis always seem like such a happy fruit to me. And your salad is beautiful! Love the colors. :)

  30. I love that you included kiwis in your salad. Now I have to try that.


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